Charleston Loves a Bride

Posted on March 24, 2014


Cabell House Charleston wedding

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The King Family

Posted on March 20, 2014


I met up with the King crew over the holidays so that they could get a Charleston family portrait while everyone was in town.

We’d put a lot of thought into this session. Wardrobe opinions, plans to change to a beach location after we took some photos downtown, etc.

Approximately 11 minutes into our session, the sky opened up. Linda, who’s a television producer and knows about getting things done, said “sometimes you just need to punt.”

We didn’t get the golden beach frolic-y light we originally wanted, but we got to watch model trains go around a mountain. And hey-that’s a win!

east bay street charleston family portraits

Charleston candid photography

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boy sleeping on father's shoulder

family portrait downtown charleston




child pointing at camera candid photo

charleston place family portrait

charleston place at christmas

boy and grandfather

boy and grandmother

charleston black and white family portrait


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Alex and Michael are such a lovely couple. They moved to Australia (his homeland) just after the wedding.

Recently I delivered their wedding album to Alex’s parents’ house in Mount Pleasant, so that they could take take it along when they flew over to see the newlyweds.

As we were flipping through the pages, Alex’s Mom referred to them as “the kids.” I remember her saying the same thing at the wedding. I found it to be ridiculously charming. Even grown and married, Alex will always be their baby girl, and her husband is now one of their honorary “kids” too.


I must be doing something right, because I get to meet the best families.



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mother kissing bride before wedding


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suttonblog68 suttonblog64 suttonblog66 bride and groom walking on lawn

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charleston wedding with nautical elements




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A guest spotted a rainbow outside after the first dances

rainbow at wedding

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children on dance floor at charleston wedding

bride going away short dress


black and white trees bride and groom




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Southern Charm

Posted on March 5, 2014







Ravenel bridge



In case you haven’t heard, Bravo’s Southern Charm premiered Monday. The whole city of Charleston has been at pre-emptive Chicken Little emotional Defcon 2 since about mid-January, when the pre-press for the series kicked into high gear.


Y’all. People are MAD about this show.


I watched. I admit it. I considered pretending it wasn’t happening, but in the end, I did it for the curiosity. I did it for the scenery.

Mostly though I did it for the Twitterfest.  (Check out #charmageddon for local commentary on the show. Pretty funny last night. I hope by next week the wit will be out in full force.)

Not loving the production side. I don’t know what budget they were working with, and I certainly don’t expect it to look like House of Cards, but Charleston has beautiful, soft afternoon light, and wonderful, warm, pastel colors, and to be honest, the city is much lovelier than this harshly lit depiction.

And what’s with the music? I can see a modern soundtrack working, or if they insist on kicking it old school, maybe a lazier, hazier Porgy and Bess sort of vibe. The brassy, frenetic theme tunes sound goofy to me.


But the cast? They’re not THAT bad!

A lot of the people I see saying especially mean things on social media refuse to watch the show so I’m not sure where they’re getting their information. I get why a lot of people despise “reality” tv in general. And also understand that some folks are irritated with the rest of the country getting the wrong impression. We could be living somewhere saying, “Have at it, network TV. You can’t make this dump look any worse.” No, it’s magical here, and we know it and try to preserve it. Anything that threatens the long-woven thread of local pride will be met with hostility. I can appreciate the NIMBY solidarity. But I don’t think the show is the epic tragedy it’s being made out to be.

Only one episode in, but I am loving the girls. Cameran and Jenna are beautiful, seem sweet, goofy, fun, independent, and quirkily awesome.

The jury’s still out in terms of my opinion of all the guys-by design, I assume. But the big buzz is that no one in Charleston behaves like they do. (“That’s not how we act like down here.”)

I disagree. When I was single and out and about, I knew guys-many guys- who acted, dressed and spoke very much like each of these cast members. Sure, they’re not representative of all of Charleston, but no one said they were. They’re representative of a specific type of Charleston resident, and pretty spot-on, I’d say. The other side of that, though, is that financially privileged Charlestonians (not to be confused with “old Charleston” people-the show blurs that important distinction) also tend to be quite philanthropic, involved in the arts, their church, etc. And can often be great conversationalists (an art I hope isn’t dying with the next generations and their iphones.) It remains to be seen whether or not any of the guys’ redeeming qualities-assuming some were captured during filming-will be edited in or if Bravo will go strictly for the shock value jugular.

I appreciate that the cast and supporting cast varies in age and appearance.  They’re not all generically spray tanned and spackled.  In that typical seeking-out-the-best-in-everyone photographer fashion, I think they’re all quite interestingly lovely.


That’s not to say that there aren’t thumps on the head to be dished out.

(I don’t need to catalog the EWWW moments. You know who you are.)


But it’s not like these people are chucking their mint julep cups at snuzzly newborn puppies. They’re just having fun, navigating their career, raking in some dough, getting a little tipsy, and letting their preppily-dressed eccentric freak flags fly.

And if that isn’t a real side of downtown Charleston, then I don’t know what is.






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This guy

Posted on February 20, 2014



C.R. turned 11 yesterday. He’s a football-loving, Minecrafting, guitar-strumming, didgeridoo-learning, reading-all-the-time all American boy.


(Did I mention the Minecrafting? Lots of Minecraft.)


And last week he received an award for a 100% on his South Carolina PASS standardized test writing section. I’m proud of that! A perfect score on a written essay is pretty awesome.

Charleston boy on his eleventh birthday




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Rubber band earrings

Posted on February 10, 2014



“Mommy, do you like my earrings?”


little girl rubber band earrings


“I do.”


silly smiling preschooler



It’s dull and brown this time of year. But for about 10 minutes each evening, the front yard gets wonderful golden sun.


riverland terrace james island lawn



It’s a little too cold to be playing with the hose. But we like to live dangerously.


charleston preschooler playing with garden hose



Winter rainbow!


Charleston family photographer

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Snow Day in Charleston

Posted on February 3, 2014



Well, -ish, anyway.


But quasi-snow is enough to shut down our city (lots of bridges and islands!) and to have us all marveling at little things like a drop of water frozen on a winter berry. We almost never see that.


May, walking the dog. Our neighbor’s yellow lab romped luxuriously in the ice. Miller mostly shivered. Bichons are agile but they’re not cut out for the elements.

girl walking bichon


Elvis was also not sure about it.


cat on welcome mat


Charleston winter storm Leon


frozen berries charleston snow


charleston green branches frost





snow day matt pond song quote



carolina bluebird in pine tree james island sc

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Stevens Family Charleston beach portraits

Posted on January 27, 2014




Molly’s vision for her family session was to capture them having fun and being themselves.  And we did! I love the light, colors, humor and energy here.


Casual family portrait humor Charleston


brothers wrestling on the beach sulivan's island



boy hugging little brother



adorable blond toddler boy on beach charleston





Boys being boys playing with sticks



father walking on beach holding son



mother and son laughing silly beach sunny charleston



sullivans island standing on rocks



boy playing on beach rocks sullivans island



boy blowing bubbles



father and son blowing bubbles barge in charleston bay



family playing on beach





mother laughing with children charleston family photographer



lifestyle photography charleston mother and son


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1 Comment so far

  • Molly Stevens says:




I’m always so proud to show off how friendly and polite Charlestonians are to out-of-towners.

When I’m meeting Brits, though, it’s a toss-up. There’s a witty good-naturedness to the English that wins me over every time.

The wonderful Potter family gathered in Charleston from Chicago and England for a wonderful vacation and a photo session to document the gang.


Extended family portrait Charleston brick alley



Funny outtake Charleston family portrait



mother and baby portrait red hair



young boy holding grandfather's hand



Candid family portrait crossing street in Charleston



Mother and daughter looking at pearls



grandparents portrait Charleston waterfront park bench



couple portrait on grass charleston waterfront park photographer



Grandparents visiting Charleston



Cousins portrait Charleston family photographer



Funny outtake sibling portrait Charleston


Siblings portrait downtown Charleston on brick steps




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Girls’ weekend

Posted on January 15, 2014



I have a confession.


When I was planning my wedding, there were scarce options available on the web for inspiration. I used The Wedding Channel to gather ideas. Thinking about it now, it’s a wonder that Pinterest and wedding blogs didn’t get invented sooner, because it was a fairly inefficient planning tool. But the plus side was that all the women there read each others’ journals and many became friends.

I know this sounds like  chick lit, but it’s true: now, 12-ish years later, many of us are still in touch. Over the years the group has had meetups all over the country.

We’ve career trajectoried and marathoned and roller derbied and surrogate birthed triplets and published and cooked and cleaned and carpooled. We met Vince Vaughn in a restaurant in New Orleans. Some of us lost months of our sanity to babies who refused to sleep at night, and argued about how to turn that disaster around.  Others decided having a dog was more their speed. We’ve shelved Elves and planted gardens and learned to totter around and cope (or just given up) when, for heaven’s sake, every year, the heels get higher and higher. Feuds, bff’s, divorces, renovations, exotic vacations, incredible opportunities, and, sadly, departures.


We lost a hell of a woman to metastatic breast cancer in December. Quite possibly the wittiest, smartest, gorgeous-est one of us all.


A few of us decided to meet up in Beaufort to honor her.

And typical of our little subclan, our idea of collective grief involved handcrafted cocktails, great food, lots of laughs, and a viewing of I Love You, Man.


Laters on the menjay, dear C. You were a revelation.


cocktail maraschino cherries


french bulldog

no frowning sign



Habersham Beaufort SC

Beaufort SC night sky


woman in kitchen laughing





bourbon handcrafted cocktail


french bulldog in front of fireplace

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